ASTA issues statement in wake of Concordia grounding

In the wake of this weekend’s accident involving the grounding of the Costa Concordia off the coast of Italy, ASTA has issued the following statement: “ASTA wishes to extend its heartfelt sympathies to all those affected in this tragic accident. Our hearts and prayers go out to the friends and families of the passengers and crew whose lives were lost or who were injured,”said ASTA president Nina Meyer. “On behalf of the travel agent community, we stand ready to assist in any way possible.”She added the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and Carnival Corporation & plc, Costa Cruise’s parent company, have issued statements providing updates and further information for concerned families. Additionally, ASTA will be working closely with both CLIA and Costa to provide members with updates, including guidance for passenger re-accommodation or refunds for all future Concordia bookings. “Accidents such as this are extremely rare,”noted Meyer, noting that cruising still remains one of the safest forms of vacation travel.